Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., spokesperson of a counterinsurgency task force, recently made online buzz after he likened community pantry organizer Ana Patricia Non to biblical figure Satan for allegedly deceiving people.
Non started the first community pantry project in Maginhawa Street in Quezon City that was later replicated across the country.
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and critics, however, linked her and other organizers to the communist movement.
Parlade, spokesman of the NTF-ELCAC, also previously admitted that the task force had been conducting background checks on them.
In an interview with One News’ The Chiefs on Wednesday, the military official suddenly referenced the biblical figure when pressed about the reason why the task force is profiling Non.
“Alam mo ba isang tao lang yan di ba? Isang tao lang si Ana Patricia di ba? Same with Satan. Si Satan binigyan ng apple si Eve. Dun lang nagsimula yun,” Parlade said.
He also insisted that it is the job of the government to “expose” people’s supposed motives for initiating these activities.
“Okay, hypothetical, what if tomorrow you’re able to say na ito si Ana ito yung background niya, ito yung participation niya in the past. Ito yung participation niya sa mga organization na ito. Ito yung membership niya sa organization niya to,” Parlade said.
Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, also acting as NTF-ELCAC spokesperson, likewise associated Non to communist rebels in a Facebook post.
Badoy advised those who donated to community pantries to demand auditing of their donation from the organizer while claiming Non is a member of an underground mass organization.
“Ask where your money went. Make sure it goes to where you want it to go….,” Badoy said.
“Because AP Non or Ka Patring, according to former CPP NPA NDF cadres who know her, is a member of the underground mass organization ARMAS. (Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan) that believes in the violent overthrow of government,” she added.
Non had earlier denied links to communists.
Concerns on Satan parallelism
Following this interview, the words “Satan” and “Parlade” trended on Twitter Philippines that evening as Filipinos perceived Parlade’s remark as ridiculous and uncalled for.
“Parlade’s unnecessary and uncalled for interference in community pantries just proves his existence as a public official has no relevance to the Filipino taxpayers thus his office should immediately be defunded,” one user said.
“The audacity of Parlade with that face and track record, to liken Ana Patricia Non to Satan. Unbelievable,” said screenwriter Juan Miguel Severo.
“Only a fanatical trigger-happy cold-blooded red-tagger could compare the civilian pioneer of the Community Pantry to Satan. Sir, you deserve to be court-martialed. And AFP letting you spew your fringe-views says a lot about the AFP,” historian Kristoffer Pasion also said.
Some Reddit users, meanwhile, expressed their frustrations over the “Satan” reference of the spokesperson of the counterinsurgency task force through memes and cartoons.
The National Privacy Commission also denounced Parlade’s remarks, citing “grave concerns” over the labels on Non and other organizers.
— Privacy.Gov.PH (@PrivacyPH) April 22, 2021
In a statement on Thursday, Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro described such labeling of people as “unnecessary” and their profiling as “unjust” and “unwarranted” given the trying times.
“Labels like these are unnecessary when the people are struggling to find every means to survive in this pandemic,” Liboro said.
“The unwarranted profiling activities are being carried out against those organizing community pantries in aid of the less fortunate. Despite this good intention, they have been discouraged from continuing this activity because of red-tagging,” he added.
Liboro also encouraged the public to not fuel any form of discrimination against anyone.
“It is during these trying times that we should not, by any means, fuel discrimination against anyone who has done nothing to deserve such. We must aim to build a united community driven by volunteerism with the genuine desire to help others and the needy,” he said.
“Unjust profiling destroys the Filipino bayanihan spirit,” he added.